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On this day, May 19, 2011, doctors in Oregon announced that electrodes implanted on the spinal cord of Rob Summers (25) had reactivated nerve circuits and allowed him to consciously move body parts that had been paralyzed following a 2006 hit and run accident.

Also on this day, May 19, 2014, a federal judge threw out Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, which was enacted into the Oregon Constitution by a vote of the people.




Post an Event


KSLM Coffee Klatch, Jeff Kropf M.C.
Monday, May 20, 2024 at 6:00 pm
All Welcome. Political Theme Discussions, Candidates, Legislators, Local speakers Come early to order food and mingle. Additional info announced on Jeff's KSLM show week-days, 6-7am.
Spark's Brewing Company, 1252 23rd ST. NE, Salem



Election Integrity Symposium
Friday, May 24, 2024 at 1:00 pm
1-5:30, $25 adm. Speakers include Phil Izon from Alaska Ranked-Choice voting Education Association, Mark Cook from Colorado IT witness on Tim Sipple case, and Dr. Frank on how to use data to approach clerks. Washington County will give a report on finding dead voters. And others to give information on how to approach counties for in-person voting.
Keizer Civic Center, Keizer Oregon



Multnomah County Fair
Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 9:00 am
Multnomah County Fair
Oaks Amusement Park



Memorial Day
Monday, May 27, 2024 at 11:00 am
Memorial Day
A federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving.



Juneteenth
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Juneteenth
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.



Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.thelincolncountyfair.com
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds



Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day
USA



Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.marion.or.us/CS/Fair
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center



Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
TheExpo.com
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo



Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
columbiacountyfairgrounds.com
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.linncountyfair.com/
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.bigfairfun.com/
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.eventcenteronthebeach.com
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach



Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.hoodriverfairgrounds.com
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds



Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.jcfair.fun
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.atthefair.com
July 24-28
Lane Events Center



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.malheurcountyfair.com
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center



Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
bceventcentercorvallis.net
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.unioncountyfair.org
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.bakerfair.com
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds



Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.harneyfairgrounds.com
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds



Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.shermancountyfairfun.com
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.crookcountyfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.douglasfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex



Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.grantcountyoregon.net
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.umatillacountyfair.net
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
clackamascountyfair.com
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center



Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR


View All Calendar Events


Violent Protesters Attack ICE Building in Portland
Projectiles thrown and burning dumpster used by crowd

On January 27, 2021, at approximately 9:51 p.m., a large group that had gathered outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in the 4300 block of South Macadam Avenue of Portland, and began blocking vehicular traffic by moving construction cones and barriers in to the street.

Around 10:30 p.m., the group pushed a dumpster, which had been lit on fire, in front of the ICE building on South Bancroft Street. Federal officers emerged on the ICE property in an attempt to move the crowd away so the fire could be put out by Portland Fire and Rescue.

Around 11 p.m., Portland Police officers responded to the location to assist Federal officers in creating an area where Portland Fire and Rescue could safely arrive and extinguish the dumpster fire. After the fire was extinguished, Portland Police left the area.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

At 11:28 p.m., Federal officers began taking rock-like projectiles from the crowd. Portland police once again responded to assist in dispersing the crowd from the property. As the crowd was dispersed, a crowd control munition was used, and one person was taken into custody.

After the crowd had been dispersed, 50-60 people returned to the ICE building and continued to throw some projectiles towards the building and block traffic on South Bancroft Street. The crowd eventually left the area after 12:00 a.m.

Portland Police did use crowd control munitions but did not deploy any CS gas.

The following person was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on the following charges:
--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-01-28 16:09:48Last Update: 2021-01-28 16:32:51



Baseball is Coming Back to the Willamette Valley
Mavericks league will feature four teams

Major League Baseball announced in November of 2019 a change in the minor league system that eliminated 40 minor league teams. This ended the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 23 year connection with the San Francisco Giants. This presented a challenge for Volcanoes CEO Jerry Walker, and he went to work creating something better, the Mavericks Independent Baseball League.

The Mavericks League will feature the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Portland Mavericks, Salem Senators and Campesinos de Salem-Keizer, and all four teams will play under the Volcanoes umbrella. Players will be recruited from top-level undrafted and released players, as well as high-level collegiate players and former Volcanoes players. Each team will play 48 games for a total of 96 games at the Volcanoes Stadium. For us baseball enthusiasts that’s a lot to look forward to this summer.

We’ve all watched national sports deteriorate over a political protest when San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” sparking the question of patriotism versus racism. But the baseball diamond has remained largely free of this type of political protest but not immune from the taint on all sports. When Northwest Observer asked Jerry Walker about his vision to help restore the “hero” image to baseball, he responded:

Since 1997, the Volcanoes have spent every season honoring our Veterans, First Responders, Cancer Survivors and the many different cultures that make our country great. We fully believe baseball is the living example of the American Dream. The Maverick League will be a shining example of that commitment.

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and the Maverick League are fully invested in baseball bringing the Pacific Northwest together through integrity, tradition, honor and the entrepreneurial spirit.

Walker told the Keizer Times what he is the most excited for the future is the amount of community involvement the league plans to do with their players. With no travel and just three games per week, Walker wants players to take opportunities to visit local schools, hospitals and senior care facilities. “We are going to have our players entrenched in the community in a way we have never been able to do before, and I think it's going to allow for a much more personal connection with the fans. They will be more than just players on a field.”

The Maverick League has opportunities for host homes for players that will give families an opportunity to get involved. The new website is mavericksindependentleague.com where season tickets and ticket packages are currently on sale. You can also email mavericksleague2021@gmail.com or call 503-390-2225 to purchase seats.




--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-28 15:50:13Last Update: 2021-01-28 16:04:55



Health Authority Changing COVID Reporting
Will no longer list individual cases

Starting today, the Oregon Health Authority will no longer list individual cases of COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon in its daily media releases.

Since the first COVID-19 related death was reported in Oregon by OHA on March 14, 2020, the Oregon Health Authority has listed each of the individuals by county of residence, date of death, date of positive test or symptom onset and reported if the individuals had underlying conditions. Those updates have been provided daily since that date.

“Every death from COVID-19 represents a loss, especially for those who knew them best — families, friends and loved ones,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen. “That is why we have listed each case. Moving forward, we will share aggregated COVID-19 related deaths on OHA’s public dashboards, which are updated daily. As the death toll from the virus has climbed, validating and reporting each death has had an impact on our daily reporting. We will continue to honor the lives of each person lost to the pandemic, but in a different way. The dashboard will provide additional information on COVID-19 related deaths that have not been accessible in a visual format before — including data on trends, underlying conditions and residence setting. This dashboard offers the public a clearer picture of the collective toll the virus has taken. But it will never detract from the importance of each Oregonian who is no longer with us.”

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

As of Jan. 27, the state ranks fifth lowest in deaths per 100,000 persons in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite Oregon's graceful condition nearly a year after the virus began to spread, the government lockdown mandates continue from Governor Kate Brown. High benchmarks have been set for communities to have the state's permission to "return to normal".

The governor now seems to want the entire population of Oregon vaccinated before she would grant those freedoms back to the people of Oregon that they once had.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-01-28 15:09:48Last Update: 2021-01-28 16:50:04



Police Target of New Legislation
Does this make us safer?

Wednesday, HB 3059 was introduced by Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Portland) at the request of the Oregon ACLU. If passed, it “Repeals statute authorizing law enforcement officers to command dispersal of unlawful assemblies and arrest participants who do not disperse”.

It wipes ORS131.675 off the books – “When any five or more persons, whether armed or not, are unlawfully or riotously assembled in any county, city, town or village, the sheriff of the county and the deputies of the sheriff, the mayor of the city, town or village, or chief executive officer or officers thereof, and the justice of the peace of the district where the assemblage takes place, or such of them as can forthwith be collected, shall go among the persons assembled, or as near to them as they can with safety, and command them in the name of the State of Oregon to disperse. If, so commanded, they do not immediately disperse, the officer must arrest them or cause them to be arrested; and they may be punished according to law”.

If this passes, look for Portland to continue to be burned, looted and run by mobs of “Peaceful protesters”.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-01-27 19:44:37Last Update: 2021-01-27 19:55:19



Brown Keeps Control While the Nation Opens
“The science has shown us that outdoor activities are safer”

Governor Kate Brown announced updates to county risk levels under the state's public health framework to protect Oregonians from COVID-19. Effective January 29 through February 11, there are 25 counties that seem to be stuck in the Extreme Risk level with high COVID-19 test results. Two counties are at High Risk, two at Moderate Risk, and seven at Lower Risk. Four counties made improvements, but Tillamook stands out moving from Extreme Risk down to Lower Risk. It didn’t just move from the highest risk to the lowest risk level, it is third from the bottom having the lowest case count per population. One thing is noticeable for counties in the lower risk levels is that they also rank the lowest in tests given per population. With one exception (Sherman County) all counties testing more than 50% of the population are in the Extreme Risk level.

Is this a coincidence that the CDC states on their website, “In general, a positive antibody test is presumed to mean a person has been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected. An average of 10% of the SARS-Cov-2 are people with colds during the winter. People who receive positive results on an antibody test but don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been around someone who may have COVID-19 are not likely to have a current infection. They can continue with normal activities, including work.”

Governor Brown also announced modifications to the guidance for indoor activities in Extreme Risk counties, which will take effect January 29. These modifications allow for a maximum of six people indoors at facilities over 500 square feet (for all indoor activities except dining) with associated guidance for ongoing social distancing, cleaning protocols, and face coverings. For facilities smaller than 500 square feet, the modified guidance allows for 1:1 customer experiences, such as personal training. The updated guidance for indoor recreation will be posted to the state COVID-19 site. That site indicates under the Metrix that Indoor Entertainment Establishments and Indoors Recreation & Fitness are “prohibited.” However, the Statewide Guidance, Regardless of County’s Risk Level guidelines still permits opening with certain precautions.

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

"The science has shown us that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities when it comes to the spread of COVID 19, which is why we have clearly delineated guidance between indoor and outdoor activities," said Governor Brown. "We have seen over the last several weeks that Oregonians have largely complied with risk levels to the point that we have not seen a surge in hospitalizations that would have jeopardized hospital capacity. This means we are able to make these adjustments for Extreme Risk counties, which should assist both businesses and Oregonians as we continue to work to stop the spread of COVID-19."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the science of indoor spreading relates to SARS Cov-2, which may or may not carry the virus for COVID-19 and could simply be the common cold. The CDC indicates the only difference between precautions for outdoors and indoors is being well ventilated and wearing a mask. What science is Governor Brown using to justify closing businesses that provides healthy activity.

“Most of the state remains in the Extreme Risk category," said Governor Brown. "This is an important reminder for all Oregonians to continue to do their part by abiding by the health and safety guidelines in place. Until vaccines are widely available with high participation rates, the surest way to lower our risk and open our businesses and communities is to continue practicing the measures we know are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, keep physical distance from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick."

As 25 counties struggle with pleasing Governor Brown to get off her “Extreme Risk” list, the Governor relays a false positive outlook to news outlets that are reflected nationally.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-27 14:07:31Last Update: 2021-01-27 20:19:29



Class Size as a Bargaining Chip
COVID is really all about reduction in K-12 class sizes

On January 25th, the Senate Education Committee held an informational hearing on reopening schools. All the major players were there; Colt Gill, Oregon Department of Education, Dr. Sidelinger, Oregon Health Authority, John Larson, Oregon Education Association (OEA), and so on. ODE and OHA talked about the importance of safely getting kids back into school for many reasons including social emotional learning and student mental health.

During the hearing, Chair Dembrow asked the Dr. Sidelinger a question about vaccination and the continued risk of transmitting COVID after receiving the vaccine. He cited studies done, before the vaccine, stating that school age children have not been shown to transmit COVID. Also, the vaccine is 95% effective of preventing COVID. Although extensive studies have not been done on vaccinated people becoming asymptomatic transmitters, it is assumed in the healthcare community that COVID will act similar to other respiratory diseases like the flu. Vaccinated individuals will not be transmitters. Thus, offering protection for staff in the educational setting as well as the likelihood that students will take the disease home to at risk family members.

However, the tone of the conversation changed when the representative from OEA spoke. He immediately shifted the conversation away from vaccination and to the need for funding from State and Federal sources to address classroom overcrowding, aging infrastructure and ventilation upgrades.

Class size is not a new discussion point on the part of OEA. ODE has reported on class size information since 1997, and the method and measurement has evolved and improved over time. In 2013 HB 2644 established a new class size reporting requirements for ODE as well as requiring that the data be published to the legislature annually.

In 2015 the Legislature passed HB 2928 which directed a study to be performed on class sizes in Oregon and a report to be delivered to the Interim Committee on Education in 2016. The report was delivered and there were several meetings of a legislative Joint Interim task force over the summer.

The 2017 Legislative session saw the first bill introduced regarding class size, when HB 2651 was introduced by Representative Margaret Doherty(D-Tigard). The bill “Includes school class size as mandatory collective bargaining subject,” meaning that teachers unions could bargain salary, hours, etc. based on class size. The bill had one public hearing and died in committee.

During the 2018 Legislative session, the class size discussion resurfaced in HB 4113, introduced by Representatives Doherty and Brian Clem (D-Salem). This time it again “Includes class size as mandatory subject of school district collective bargaining”. This time it got a little further. It moved out of the House committee, and off the floor of the House on party line votes. It received a hearing in the Senate but that was as far as it went.

In the 2019 Legislative Session, the bill concept was back again but this time it started in the Senate as SB 764, introduced by Senators Lew Frederick (D-Portland), Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) and Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) as well as Representative Clem. The bill received a hearing and was voted out of committee on a party line vote. However, this was during the Republican walkout, so it subsequently died on the Senate floor. Part of the reason the bill may have not progressed was due to the annual class size report from ODE submitted Feb 1, 2019 to the legislature. They concluded: In other words, class sizes are stable and not necessarily a driving force to be considered in collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

In addition, HB 3427, Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax did make it out of session, and many believed this was a partial answer to the “class size issue”. It would bring in a little over an additional $1 billion in annual revenue into education funding and in Section 9, 3(c) it spelled out that the Student Investment Account funds (CAT funds) could be used for “Reducing class sizes, which may include increasing the use of instructional assistants, by using evidence-based criteria to ensure appropriate student/teacher ratios or staff caseloads”. One would think this would have solved the class size tied to collective bargain discussion going for the last 4 years. Nope.

In the 2020 Legislative session, the class size tied to collective bargaining conversation was back on the table. HB 4094 Representatives Doherty and Clem, and Senator Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego). The bill “Amends definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts”. The issue has not been solved by the Student Investment Act -- at least in the eyes of the OEA. The bill was referred to committee but never received a hearing. Some would blame the Republican walkout, but others might assert that you can only bring a bad piece of legislation forward so many times. Not the case.

2021 legislative session has begun, and the request is back as SB 580, introduced by Senators Dembrow and Frederick and Representative Clem. Again, it looks to “Amends definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts”. The latest ODE Class Size Report for the 19-20 school year which is the 5th annual report since reporting started looks very similar to the 2018-19 school year report. The data showed: If the data continues to show that class sizes have remained stable for five years and if there is a concern regarding class size, it is isolated to elementary grades and also relates to the size of the district (i.e. larger districts tend to have larger class sizes). If the ODE reports are true why is the legislature, again, looking at a “one size fits all approach” for the 197 school districts in Oregon? Why do they want to force districts into negotiating class size in teachers collective bargaining agreements if their specific school has no class size issues?

The COVID “pandemic” has given the OEA power never before seen. Teachers have been out of the classroom for almost a year teaching a modified and often reduced caseload. Now they have an opportunity to use COVID to bargain a return to the classroom if class sizes are small enough to make them comfortable and/or if they are paid more money if the class size goes over the negotiated threshold.

Legislative Session 2021 may finally be their year.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-01-27 10:48:35Last Update: 2021-01-27 11:30:21



Change in Oregon Senate Proposed
Senate legislative districts to be coterminous with county boundaries

HJR 9 is a proposal that would change Oregon's Constitution and therefore needs to be sent to a vote of the people. It is proposing that the number of Senators be increased to 36 and that each county would be considered a Senate District. The bill is the work of State Representatives Mark Owens (R-Crane) and David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford).

The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Rules. It has not been scheduled for a hearing at this time.

“I recognize the changes proposed are complicated, but the principle behind this bill is what matters,” said Rep. Owens. “Our vast rural communities are not one-in-the-same and our counties have varied interests that deserve more representation in the Capitol. Right now, the system is outdated and takes for granted the diversity of our region. My hope is this legislation starts an important conversation about ensuring all Oregonians have a voice in their Capitol.”

This bill would certainly tip the balance of power toward rural Oregon. Currently, large metropolitan counties send several Senators to Salem and many rural counties are gathered together to make up one Senate District. Were the bill to pass and be approved by the people, large, urban counties would get one Senator, as would all the rural counties.

The Oregon Senate has an interesting history. The Original Oregon Constitution had the counties as Senate districts, though the layout of counties in Oregon was a bit different than we know it today. Additionally, Oregon did not redistrict between 1907 and 1960. In 1954 through a ballot initiative, Oregon changed to a "one person, one vote" system in which each Senate District completely contains two House districts, giving us the district configuration we have today. Though the actual districts change every ten years as they are redistricted, there are always 60 House districts and 30 Senate districts.

In 1964, the US Supreme Court decided in Reynolds v. Sims that legislative districts need to all have roughly the same amount of residents in them. In 2016, Evenwel v. Abbott the High Court backed off that decision. Neither case dealt with Oregon Directly.

If you know a House District, you can always calculate the Senate district. If it's even just divide by two. If it's odd, add one and divide by two. So House District 14 (even, so divide by two) is in Senate District 7 and House District 45 (odd, so add one and divide by two) is Senate District 23.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-27 07:43:37Last Update: 2021-01-27 14:07:31



Extended Producer Responsibility
Who’s Responsible for the Old Mattress?

The folktale, The Princes and the Pea, possibly based on a true story, involved a stack of 20 mattresses and a pea placed in the bottom mattress as a test for the Princes. The author joked that the pea was placed in the Royal Museum, but what of all those mattresses? Chief Sponsors Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), and Senator James Manning Jr (D-Eugene) are making another run at mattress disposal that died in committee last session. To further their agenda for Extended Producer Responsibility that makes manufacturers manage their products from inception to garbage dump, SB 570 will receive a public hearing January 28, 2020. The bill establishes guidelines for a nonprofit run product stewardship program and funding for mattress disposal.

EPR operates by requiring consumers to pay a transparent fee at the point of purchase that covers the cost of disposal or recycling of the product. EPR makes some sense with high-hazard, low-value items such as used car batteries. It makes less sense with low-hazard items that puts a mandated price on the item. The concept is an environmental push to control the flow and track products, which makes little sense while businesses struggle to recover from multiple shut-downs.

SB 570 assesses a tax to consumers at point of sale to cover disposal, modeled after California who assesses $10.80. While the program is intended to be self-supporting based on an annual fee paid by stewardship organizations, the program is supervised by the Department of Environmental Quality establishing, approving, administering, collecting and disbursing the mattress stewardship assessment.

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The mattress stewardship program is a new system for simply hauling mattresses to the dump. Some areas report serious problems where mattresses are collecting on streets and roadsides that has prompted developing a mattresses disposal program. Instead of a voluntary cleanup day that a county could sponsor for free dumping, government wants to manage a statewide program complete with hefty penalties. A nonprofit could offer pickup and dump for mattresses for a donation forgoing the need for a state-run program.

Counties with less than 10,000 population will be required to hold an annual collection event if no collection site is available, and other counties must provide a permanent staffed collection site with a permitted solid waste facility. That imposes an expense on counties that were struggling even before the pandemic.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-27 07:25:26Last Update: 2021-01-26 22:16:12



Teachers’ Unions Calling the “Shots”
She needs a plan that includes school reopening

Governor Brown has mishandled nearly every aspect of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, and still she sticks to her course. Her administration's mishaps range from giving seniors mixed messages on when they could receive the vaccine to sluggish distribution. Now, she is on pace to botch school reopening. Is this a lot to do about nothing? In a virtual press conference on December 28, 2020, the World Health Organization and Dr. Fauci publicly stated that “health officials do not know if COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection or if people can spread the virus to others after getting vaccinated.” FDA granted emergency use for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines based on clinical trials showing a reduction in severity of symptoms, but WHO officials say, “while it appears the vaccines can prevent clinically symptomatic COVID-19 clinical disease, there is no clear evidence COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing asymptomatic infection and transmission.”

So why all the fuss over the vaccine? Is it the need for Governor Brown to appear she has successfully manage the pandemic? Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) “I share the Governor’s eagerness to open schools, but not at the expense of lying to seniors.” After all Governor Brown set the standard for her to get criticized.

The Governor first told seniors that they would become eligible for shots starting last week. She then changed course after she mistakenly counted second doses for first doses. Teachers are now set to receive vaccines before seniors in an attempt to return kids to school this school year. In early January, a group of teachers’ unions sent the Governor a letter demanding access to the vaccine before schools reopened. But now, they are moving the goalposts; The Portland Association of Teachers and other local teachers’ unions are balking at returning to in-person instruction.

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To date, there has been no agreement with school districts and teachers’ unions to ensure schools will actually reopen once teachers are vaccinated. “If teachers are going to jump the line ahead of seniors, they must go back into the classroom.” Girod continued his hit on the Governor, “The science says this vaccine is effective. We cannot allow politics to get in the way of getting our kids back to school.”

“The Governor continues to say that she trusts that teachers will return to the classroom, but last time she relied on others to fulfill her plans, she ended up lying to seniors. She should not set parents and kids up for disappointment. Her words are empty until there is a guarantee that kids will get back to regular instruction. No agreement, no cutting in line – that’s the deal. We need to see something in writing.”

When will Governor Brown face her responsibility to parents and students and iron out with teachers’ unions a plan that will put kids back in the classroom? More than vaccines, we want leadership that is transparent and trustworthy.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-27 07:13:35Last Update: 2021-01-26 18:25:26



Broadcasters Seek Relief from Tax
It’s questionable whether the tax was intended for them

Under Oregon tax law, the Deaprtment of Revenue is responsible for the annual assessments of certain transportation, communication, and energy properties for property tax purposes. These annual assessments are sent to the county assessors and tax collectors for the billing, collection, and ultimately the distribution of property tax dollars.

In 2014, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld the Oregon Department of Revenue central assessment of Comcast as “data transmission services” under Section 308.505(3) of Oregon statutes. In late 2020, the DOR stretched the definition of “data transmission services” to cover radio and television stations which would add an enterprise valuation tax on Oregon TV and radio broadcasters. The legislature never intended broadcasters to be centrally assessed and HB 2331, proposed by State Representatives Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) and E. Werner Reschke (R-Malin), provides a fix by explicitly exempting broadcasters from the assessment. The bill is mostly just adding the phrase “Communication” does not include over-the-air broadcasting to current law.

The DOR’s central assessment model is based on enterprise value and requires valuation of intangible assets, even though each broadcaster’s most valuable intangible assets -- FCC licenses -- are exempt from assessment under Section 308.671 of the Oregon statutes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the broadcast industry. But even during these trying financial times, the state of Oregon and the federal government have received immeasurable value from local broadcasters who have continued to inform our communities on COVID-19, rampant wildfire destruction, Census collection, hectic election coverage and other essential community information. Broadcasters continue to put the safety and education of our communities first.

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Ad revenues are the most significant source of income for broadcasters. Unlike cable and satellite companies, broadcasters do not benefit from a subscription-based revenue stream. Ad revenue has plummeted due to shutdowns, even as we help our communities understand and adhere to shut-down regulations. At this point there is no recovery in sight. Local advertisers have either closed or can no longer afford to advertise. This additional tax burden is not only financially insurmountable but constitutes a lack of recognition of the free airtime provided to local, state, and federal governments.

In the Comcast decision, Oregon’s Supreme Court ruled that data transmission services, which are centrally assessed, provide the means to send data from one computer or computer-like device to another across a transmission network. While DOR has determined that over-the-air broadcasters are included in this definition, reasonable legal minds would disagree. DOR’s interpretation of the law shows a wholesale misunderstand of the broadcast business.

The bottom line? A unilateral change in how over-the-air broadcasters is assessed based on the DOR’s legal interpretation and regulatory overreach will have a far-reaching negative impact on broadcasters throughout Oregon, putting the survival of some of them in doubt.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-26 17:18:00Last Update: 2021-01-27 20:19:08



Squelching Your Political Voice
Oregon SOS seeking to expand powers

Shemia Fagan doesn’t have to wait for that governorship to follow in Kate Brown’s footsteps. Oregon Secretary of State Fagan flat-out said in her debate with Kim Thatcher that she would not run for governor in 2022.

She calls herself “lieutenant governor” and HB 2908 gives her similar powers that Governor Brown has been exercising over our lives. Representatives Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis), Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro), Anna Williams (D-Hood River), Senators Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), and Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland) introduced HB 2908, authorizing Secretary of State investigative powers into personal bank accounts and “other documentation” if a complaint is launched against a candidate you donated to, petition you signed, or an election law complaint.

The investigation isn't just an accounting of an election committee of illegal receipt or use of funds, but it authorizes the Secretary of State and Attorney General to investigate into personal donors and individual signers of a petition. Upon reasonable suspicion that a violation has occurred, requires, in addition to any other action permitted by law, examination of the accounts of the person, political committee or petition committee or election law complaints with access to bank accounts and other documentation for the three prior months with access to two years prior.

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The requirement to provide access to committee bank account records and other documentation under this bill may be enforced by writ of mandamus issued by any court of competent jurisdiction. Applies to any independent expenditures made or campaign finance statements filed on or after the effective date of the 2021 Act.

Our personal lives have been turned inside-out in lockdown limiting our social interaction, how many people you can invite to your home, attendance of our churches, mandating of wearing masks to conduct business, and invading our bodies with vaccines without choice. The only personal area left to invade is our financial information. What better way to get access but through your generosity? An attack on personal rights and privacy just for donating or signing a petition gives them the power to access your personal bank account records and “other documentation” that is unlimited personal intrusion. The discrepancy trigger isn’t you, but you become the target, which could give them access to your cell phone, social media pages, internet use, and anything else they think of that can be connected.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-26 16:50:52Last Update: 2021-01-26 17:18:00



Analysis: Partisanship in the Legislature
A little peek at the greasy boot of the party in power.

In the Oregon Legislature there is a jovial time at the beginning of the session when all is "Kumbaya" time and we all get along. There is a "non-partisan" spirit about the place. Then, quickly it fades away and once again the super-majority party exerts all its full control. When I say "full control," I mean it.

The Legislative Policy and Research Office are the folks who work "behind the scenes" to help committees flow. Now, I like all of our LPRO staff a lot and admire their hard work and dedication. Still it's literally advertised as "non-partisan." The graphic shows their job announcement.

In the video below, a new LPRO staffer introduces herself. "I did work for the Utah legislature. I was with the House Democrats, which is s super-minority, so it's definitely nice to be in the majority, so it's good to work with you guys." So I’m not concerned with hurting this staffer, anyone can make a mistake. It’s the fact that the Leadership in the Oregon Legislature is so non-transparent and so entirely biased. IT’s not just that House and Senate Republicans have to deal with the super majority legislators, it’s like doing that with one hand tied behind our backs and blindfolded to boot.

Oregon needs to wake up and see how this place really works. There is no -- I mean zero balance in this process. I wish no ill will to this staffer, she’s done nothing wrong. It’s the Leadership that needs to be addressed.

Which brings me to another point to discuss. The Oregon Republican Party recently released a statement on the impeachment process and 10 US Representatives. I am a State Representative, so I don’t get involved in national politics. Neither should the ORP. What the ORP should concentrate on is things like what I’ve brought up here in this blog post. I have presented tangible proof of the absolute uphill battle that Oregon’s House and Senate Republicans are fighting every day. I am tired of Republicans who “look back” at the past. I am moving forward and moving toward what’s important to Oregon. And much of that is the imbalance of power in the Legislature and the state wide offices. Press releases condemning Republican Representatives from other states does nothing to win seats in here in the Oregon House or Senate, nor does it help Republicans win the Governor’s seat in 2022. Let’s get our focus off of the national news and on to the state of Oregon. The statement made by the ORP is one of which I disagree. I want that to be very clear. This is “looking backward” while I am “pressing onward”.

To the ORP I say: it’s none of our business what US Representatives from other states do. Though I may disagree with the decision made by those Congressmen, it’s not my place to condemn them. Instead, I condemn the Democrats who have “lorded” over this state for 30 years. Focus please!




--State Representative Bill Post

Post Date: 2021-01-26 16:08:05Last Update: 2021-01-26 16:48:36



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